Saturday, August 15, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...All Your IT Outsourcings 'R Us


Recently Paul Ramsey, writing over at his decidedly non-idiotic blog, The Clever Elephant, let us know that British Columbians, thanks to their BC Liberal government, are now spending more than $450 million per year for information technology that is outsourced from very, very, very far away.

And, as Mr. Ramsey, some of the less idiotic bloggers and even a few proMedia folks, most notably the VTC's Lindsay Kines, have pointed out, a whole lot of this money is spent on stuff more useless than an abandoned strip mine filled to bursting with Commodore 64's.

And what's worse, in some cases there is verifiable evidence that doing this kind of work in-house would be both cheaper and more efficient.

Not to mention the fact that doing things in-house actually build skills, technology and infrastructure locally.

Which brings us to the latest folly as brought to us by Mr. Kines in yesterday's VTC. Here is his lede:

A computer system spearheaded by the B.C. government to manage infectious disease outbreaks across the country is five years late, plagued by problems and 420 per cent over budget, the auditor general says.

In a blistering report released Thursday, Carol Bellringer said the government botched the Panorama project and ignored repeated warnings from front-line staff about its shortcomings.

“Panorama has been impacted by defects from the start,” she said. “It’s inefficient to use, it’s burdensome to public health staff and it requires ongoing financial support.”

The error-prone system, purchased from IBM, has already cost the province $113 million and requires an additional $14 million a year in maintenance, she said.

“Years of delay mean that Panorama may already be outdated.”...

And that's not even the worst of it:

...(AG) Bellringer said the ministry not only failed to control costs, but made decisions that increased costs unnecessarily.

For instance, she said, her office discovered that when IBM failed to deliver on its original contract, the Health Ministry negotiated a new deal that transferred the risk from IBM to taxpayers...


Shifting the risks onto the backs of the paying public while shovelling the profits down the private corp's gullet.

Where have we seen that before?


We await Mr. Ramsey's in-depth analysis...

Of course, there is more than one way to keep on locking-in to an IT-heavy system that is obsolete before it is ever used.



scotty on denman said...

Neo-rightism, practiced as vigorously as it is by the BC Liberal government, is so blatantly bad it makes criticism of it sound necessarily ---and unfortunately---rhetorical ("freedom" allowing "difference of opinion" is a basic neo-right philosophy effectively deployed everywhere these days.) It founds Christy's stylized whopperism, and her government's general absurdism, which, incidentally, marks a line crossed, no retreat possible. And they'd say it was us who granted them licence to pillage the public weal with impunity.

Neo-rightism beggars public enterprise directed by citizens through their elected governments, the idea being to provide erstwhile public goods and services for private profit, without public interference of any kind. The agenda requires citizens to become and remain rubes, and certain favoured private interests to collude in selling the public pigs in a poke. Lies have to be believed, and liars have to be rewarded.

Incremental bankrupting of public enterprise as BC Liberal cronies sell us things we don't need, or gouge the piss out of us for things we do (when provided privately for profit) is Gordo's legacy (he converted to piecemeal sabotage after the whole-hog, corrupt sale of BCR got him into trouble.) Pulling it off once or twice---well, maybe---but consecutive, consistently money-losing gambits must eventually prove these alleged efficiency improvements are actually coordinated acts of sabotage. Why then aren't these breaches of public trust prosecuted? It's a crime, right?

SmartMeters, BC Ferries, IPPs, P3s---you name it---all bankrupt what they're supposed to not bankrupt. This is the part we rubes aren't supposed to notice. The "nice man" recommended by the BC Liberals will then magnanimously take the defunct public enterprise off our hands for pennies on the dollar---the part we rubes are supposed to accept. It's our democratic freedom, and the BC Liberals stand on guard.

Forget what rubes we've been. This shit should be prosecuted whether we're too dumb to figure it out or not.

Anonymous said...

breach of fudiciary duty
breach of public trust
or keep believing the pr,promo,ads,propa?

rcmp corprate crime

Anonymous said...

We will find out on September 8 how well the latest proprietary boondoggle works when myEDBC comes into play for BC's K - 12 kids.

And to think that a dedicated group of teachers were threatened with insubordination if they continued to work on an Open Source program.

RossK said...


I fear that, without the prosecution, it will be the rubification of everything.




I know that the Saanich thing was squashed but I had no idea that folks weren't allowed to do Open Source stuff...That's crazy.


Hugh said...

Something about forcing BC Hydro to purchase $56 billion worth of private IPP power, because importing supposedly dirty power from the U.S. is bad, although the BC govt is desperate to export LNG, which is a greenhouse gas, on ships which would travel 7,000 km across the Pacific Ocean, spewing GHG all the way.

paul said...

And note that the minister, Terry Lake, is refusing to answer any questions about the debacle, hiding behind an emailed statement crafted by communication staff and political appointees. (In a process now being revealed at the Duffy trial.)

e.a.f. said...

Terry Lake isn't answering questions?????? Must be a Con and not a B.C. Lieberal.

There is Steve who won't answer questions. Now another Con has said he won't answer questions until after the election. Well I can only say, we have now seen Terry's true colours.

If we could ever get the RCMP to quit harassing people who own motorcycles perhaps we could get them to look into things like politicians doing bad things or some such thing.

Anonymous said...

IBM AU cock up worth AUD$1B?

IBM tries to dodge $1bn sueball for deal won with 'ethical transgressions'

"The dispute started in 2007 when IBM bid AU$6million for a payroll project at the State's Department of Health. The project blew out beyond the billion-dollar mark but didn't deliver: the Department's thousands of staff were overpaid, underpaid, or sometimes not paid at all."

Sure glad nothing like that would happen in BC!!